“If” You Can Find the Bridge to Your “Holy Curiosity” at PIE 2023
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too …
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same …
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch …
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling’s “If” hung by the entrance of my home in Los Angeles for almost 30 years. At first, not only did I pay attention to every word, I used every sentence as my guidance as to how to live each day. Subsequently, I was more patient, because I recalled the line, “If you can wait and not be tired by waiting.” I was more courageous. Perhaps because for one, I was young and fearless, yet, the words “If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,” made my bravery a second nature. I was more forgiving of others and especially myself.
After all, Kipling’s “If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much” was an invitation to me to reflect and be aware of my own humanity and that of others. And there was always daily the sixty seconds of distance run so I ran, and mine was the “Earth and everything in it.”
And then, If stopped being my If. I am not sure when exactly it happened. It wasn’t one specific event or one particular minute. It wasn’t one rapture or breakage, that made me leave my If GPS of daily life behind. It was gradual. And it was insidious. The poem still hung by my door, but it was no longer in my blood, imploring me to read it before I stepped out to the world, or to ponder it, when I came back home and turned on my lights. My framed poem simply became “that” rose I have seen many times over and over, and therefore, I stopped noticing it.
Until … until during my move from my home of almost 30 years, and “out” of my 32 years in Los Angeles, the green frame and my calligraphy words of the poem fell and shattered to pieces. It must had been the shred that cut my finger and the blood that made me reread my beloved “If” and slowly but surely, to start “holding on” to the wondrous, I know nothing, courageous waking up.
“so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’” got me “holding on” to the mystery and the beauty of being alive. To the purpose that I finally grasped. Holding on, removed any fears of moving across the country to a small town. Removed any doubts of my being strong enough to be of service to the two magnificent people I call my parents, who due to heath challenges, need a fulltime caregiver. But who foremost, in the twilight of their years here on earth, despite the physical and mental strength they lost, need to be cherished, treated with respect as the educated, accomplished, loving grownups they are.
Our theme at PIE this year is “where innovation meets experience.” I am most excited about it. Throughout my years working for Parking Today, I have met incredible people and have seen brilliant ideas being implemented to make the parking experience for our customers better. Yet, until my “If” got shattered so I could live in it again, I didn’t notice that schism between the new and the old. Between the “youngsters” and the “elder.” Between this is how we have done it for years, so why change it now? Between the disruptors and the pioneers.
What is the solution to this divide? I believe that coming together and hearing each other out, and then taking the best of what works from both groups. It is not right or wrong. It is the new seeing that the fresh mind provides, while it is the voice of reason or invitation to check and verify, that experience offers. It is the open mind, open heart dialogue where vulnerability is courage.
At PIE 2023, some remarkable men and women who are ready to listen to each other, will engage with our audience to share their experience and their fresh perspectives. The veterans will share their trials and errors and their victories. So will the novices. And both will learn from each other, as well as, show us that one size doesn’t fit all. And that it is time for us to build bridges instead of walls.
Please, bring your curiosity and hungry mind, and meet a group of leaders of various ages and levels of experience at the World Is Not Enough Parking Forum. Luca Bovalino, CEO North America HUB and TIBA Parking - FAAC Group; Rajiv Jain, CEO ParkEngage; George Baker Sr., CEO ParkHub; Sarah Blouch, CEO CampusParc and several others will engage you their stories and will be ready to answer your questions.
At The Curious Case of Grumpy and Grumpier, your listening skills and apprentice hat are needed - because this group of “oldsters” have been through a lot in the parking industry and have battle scars to show it. They like to share their stories and pass on their knowledge. Their experiences are most invaluable to all of us in Parking Industry.
The Beginner’s Mind and the Sage is the seminar where you can engage with Jordan Justus and Roamy Vallera of Automotus. Those two are the quintessential example of how the bridge between experience and innovation benefits our industry and all involved.
Some other Star presenters are Dale Denda, Laura Calliot, Brandy Stanley, Julie Dixon, Ethan Glass, Mark Frumar, Mathew Magno, John Haney and many others who have one thing in common: the love of parking and the desire to make it better each end every day.
This year at PIE, every seminar and presentation has an alternative title as a pseudo movie caption. Because “If” we see every opportunity and a meeting as a poignant film, if we see every person involved as its star, then perhaps, filling every minute, regardless how challenging, with sixty second of passionate distance run, makes life more precious, interesting, joyful and beneficial for us all.
At PIE 2023 “If” is alive. Because at PIE 2023 the crowds and the kings both matter, and “the Earth and everything that’s in it” belong to all of us who choose curiosity and engagement and love for what we do.
Einstein said that “The important thing is to never stop questioning. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
Thus, we invite you to meet us all at PIE 2023 in Schaumberg, IL March 28-30, 2023 and to live as “If” you always live in “holy curiosity”
Astrid Ambroziak is the editor of Parknews.biz and the Creative Director of Parking Today. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org